An almost universal scheme of national service in Australia in the 1950s

Maclean, Pam 2006, An almost universal scheme of national service in Australia in the 1950s, Australian journal of politics and history, vol. 52, no. 3, pp. 378-397.

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Title An almost universal scheme of national service in Australia in the 1950s
Author(s) Maclean, Pam
Journal name Australian journal of politics and history
Volume number 52
Issue number 3
Start page 378
End page 397
Publisher Wiley Interscience
Place of publication Malden, Mass.
Publication date 2006
ISSN 0004-9522
1467-8497
Summary While the Australian Government partly justified the introduction of a universal National Service Training Scheme for eighteen-year old males in 1951 by highlighting the threat of imminent war and the consequent need for military preparedness, advocates also believed that national service encouraged the development of a sense of civil responsibility. Its confidence in the potential of national service to promote citizenship explains why the government was so strongly committed to the scheme's universality. Nonetheless, although the government went to great lengths to enforce compliance, Aborigines and those from other "non-white" backgrounds were actively discouraged from participation and women were only reluctantly admitted to the professional army. As would be expected in this period, they were never considered for national service. An examination of the rationale for national service and the associated discourse for inclusion and exclusion not only indicates the social assumptions shaping policy-making by government and bureaucratic elites in 1950s Australia, but also reveals their wider social aspirations.
Language eng
Field of Research 210399 Historical Studies not elsewhere classified
210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
Socio Economic Objective 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2006, Wiley Interscience
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30003875

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of History, Heritage and Society
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